WINTER AND THE GENERAL

Julian Jay Savarin, Author . Severn House $26.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-5992-1

Another solid, unabashedly old-fashioned spy thriller following fast on the heels of 2003's Romeo Summer proves England's Savarin to be the legitimate heir to Len Deighton & Co. Berlin-based German cop Hauptkommissar Jens Müller, a wealthy, titled young man who drives a customized Porsche and wears his hair in a ponytail, and his deputy, the chain-smoking and more defiantly plebian Pappenheim, are cleaning up the final details of that previous messy case, wherein several embedded spies from the 1960s were found to be still active in the German government. But then a mystery dating back to the World War II siege of Stalingrad surfaces. An old man discovered with his throat cut in a mansion on a snowbound island off Germany's northeast coast appears to be a Nazi, one General von Mappus, infamous for his single-minded brutality during that bleakest of battles. But there are many past and current secrets hidden beneath the snow, and by digging into them Müller risks his own neck—and that of his sexy CIA shooting buddy, Carey Bloomfield, who first appeared in Müller's inaugural outing, Cold Rain in Berlin . Savarin's narrative moves back and forth between 1942 and the present, revealing von Mappus's evildoing and Müller's attempts to solve the murder of a man who deserved to die. Savarin's writing, especially his dialogue, often reads like a translation from the original German or Russian—it's workmanlike, but then again, it offers an interesting extra touch of realism. (Dec.)

Reviewed on: 11/17/2003
Release date: 11/01/2003
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 351 pages - 978-0-7278-7645-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-1-84283-842-6
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